CARICOM Secretariat, Guyana – The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has been identified as one of the agencies through which an additional $5M from the Australian Government will be channeled for immediate emergency humanitarian assistance for Haiti.
At a press conference on 19 January 2010, the Hon. Stephen Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia, announced the allocation of the money. The latest tranche is in addition to the $5M for immediate emergency assistance that was allocated shortly after the massive earthquake hit on 12 January 2010, and a similar sum that was identified for longer term reconstruction.
The substantial contribution to Haiti, the Minister said, reflected the scale and extent of the disaster and Australia’s greater engagement with the Caribbean and CARICOM. Last November, Australia and CARICOM Member States signed a Memorandum of Understanding dealing with disaster management and emergency relief.
“Given the extent of the tragedy and the call by the United Nations for further assistance, I’m announcing today an additional $5 million for immediate emergency humanitarian assistance from Australia. This will bring to $10 million the contribution that Australia has made for emergency assistance,” Mr. Smith said.
The other organizations through which the money will be funded are the World Food Programme, the Red Cross, Australian and international non-government organizations, and the United Nations’ coordination office.